Southern Puppies Get Hamptons Air Lift

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ARF’s Debbie Downs unloading dogs from plane. (Photo courtesy of ARF)

A pair of benevolent pilots recently volunteered their time and aircraft to transport to the South Fork more than a dozen puppies that were rescued from being euthanized in South Carolina.

Charles Canavan, a pilot and flight instructor at East Hampton Airport in Wainscott, offered to have one of his students, East Hampton Police Officer Brian LaBelle, fly to Camden, South Carolina, to pick up 15 puppies on Dec. 18, according to the nonprofit Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, known as ARF Hamptons for short.

“In order for [Canavan’s] students to get certified— and also for licensed pilots to get recertified—they need a certain amount of monitored flying time,” a spokesperson for the group said. “Normally they take these flights just to log in the hours, but he thought maybe he could do some good on these trips and help ARF by assisting in some of our rescue transports when hours were needed.”

LaBelle, who needed to be recertified, offered not only his plane for a rescue transport, but also offered to cover all expenses, the group said. 

Upon arrival at ARF’s East Hampton headquarters, the pups will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and medically cleared by the agency’s veterinarians before being put up for adoption. Once they are available, they will be posted online at

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